Avalara MyLodgeTax > Blog > Lodging Taxes > Airbnb pulls all unregistered listings in San Francisco

Airbnb pulls all unregistered listings in San Francisco

  • Feb 9, 2018 | MyLodgeTax

The number of short-term vacation rental listings in San Francisco plummeted as hosts scrambled to register with the city last month before Airbnb and HomeAway pulled unregistered listings off their sites.

As part of a legal settlement between the city and Airbnb and HomeAway, San Francisco required the sites to have all hosts registered with the city for short-term rental permits by Jan. 16. After that date, those sites no longer allow unregistered hosts to list rentals. Other sites — such as FlipKey, that weren’t part of the settlement — can face fines of up to $1,000 a day and criminal penalties for allowing unregistered rental listings on their sites.

In order to be fully registered and allowed to list their properties on short-term rental platforms, San Francisco hosts must register as a business entity with the city’s Treasurer & Tax Collector and register with the City of San Francisco’s Office of Short-Term Rentals for a certified host certificate, which is good for two years.

The business registration fee is $91, while the short-term rental registration fee is $250. Hosts who register as a business entity solely to run a short-term rental business may be eligible for a refund.

In addition to registration requirements, several other rules and regulations apply to short-term rentals in San Francisco.

Hosts must:

  • Be a permanent resident, defined as living in the short-term rental unit for at least 275 nights a year. New residents must have lived in their unit for at least 60 days before applying to become a short-term rental host.
  • Have property liability insurance.
  • Comply with all city codes.

Short-term rental hosts are prohibited from:

  • Renting out their property for short terms for more than 90 nights per year while they are not present overnight.
  • Making more in a month in short-term rental fees than what they pay in monthly rent.
  • Offering more than five individual beds as separate, bookable listings.

Short-term rental hosts must also collect San Francisco’s 14 percent lodging tax from guests. Airbnb has an agreement with San Francisco to collect this tax, so this is taken care of for Airbnb hosts. However, hosts using any other short-term rental platforms, such as HomeAway or VRBO, are responsible for collecting and remitting all accommodations taxes themselves.

Automated solutions can help hosts make sure they’re getting taxes right and avoid penalties and fines that can result from noncompliance in an environment of increasing scrutiny on short-term rental operators.

Lodging tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
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At Avalara MyLodgeTax, we provide the fastest and easiest way for short-term and vacation rental property owners to comply with their lodging or occupancy tax requirements. We manage your lodging taxes so you don't have to and guarantee your compliance — period. If we make a mistake, we'll fix it at no cost to you. No contracts, no obligation, no worries. Never worry about lodging taxes again. Contact us at MyLodgeTax@Avalara.com.